The final time Mexico advanced former the group stage in the Olympic soccer tournament, it won the gold medal. That was 2012 in London.
Altree will be hoping history will repeat itself in Tokyo following qualifying for only the knockout stage for the second time in a quarter century with a 3-0 triumph over South Africa on Wednesday. The triumph earned Mexico (2-1-0), who finished second in their group over unbeaten Japan, a quarter-final date on Saturday with South Korea.
Alexis Vega played prior 42,000 unload seats in the silent Sapporo Dome, putting Mexico ahead to stay in the 18th minute, though Henry Martin and Uriel Antuna did the work to create the goal.
After South Africa turned midfield, the ball went to Martin outside the center circle. The Club América striker went in the middle of the field prior throwing the ball to Antuna on the right wing while cutting Vega towards the left side of the penalty area.
That left South African defender Rebo Malibe with two men to celebrate, and when he leaned towards previous Galaxy winger Antona, who was making his first run in the tournament, he unselfishly pushed the ball across the goal to Vega to hit it with his right foot with ease. .
Luis Romo doubled the lead in the final minute of the first half following a destitute attempt to clear Tiboho Mokena sent the ball into the middle of the penalty area. Midfielder Cruz Azul grabbed the rebound, hit the ball with his first touch, then beat goalkeeper Ronwen Williams from the edge of the six-yard area.
South Africa lost Malibe, their captain, in the 58th minute to a red card for a tough challenge that left Martin limping. Martin only needed two minutes to get his revenge, beating Williams cleanly with his right foot from the top of the penalty area.
South Korea, bronze medalists in London in 2012 and a quarter-finalist five years ago in Brazil, won the second set by defeating Honduras 6-0 in the final final round on Wednesday. South Korea scored the top 10 goals in the tournament in three matches while conceding only once.